noun ca·price \kə-ˈprēs\

: a sudden change; especially : a sudden change in someone's mood or behavior

Full Definition of CAPRICE

a :  a sudden, impulsive, and seemingly unmotivated notion or action
b :  a sudden usually unpredictable condition, change, or series of changes <the caprices of the weather>
:  a disposition to do things impulsively
:  capriccio 3

Examples of CAPRICE

  1. the caprices of the weather
  2. Employees have complained of being at the mercy of the manager's every whim and caprice.
  3. policy changes that seem to be motivated by nothing more than caprice
  4. … Montana's Durum Triangle, where the caprice of microclimates has led farmers to complain not of floods but of drought. —Florence Williams, New Republic, 16 Aug. 1999

Origin of CAPRICE

French, from Italian capriccio caprice, shudder, perhaps from capo head (from Latin caput) + riccio hedgehog, from Latin ericius — more at head, urchin
First Known Use: 1667

Synonym Discussion of CAPRICE

caprice, whim, vagary, crotchet mean an irrational or unpredictable idea or desire. caprice stresses lack of apparent motivation and suggests willfulness <by sheer caprice she quit her job>. whim implies a fantastic, capricious turn of mind or inclination <an odd antique that was bought on a whim>. vagary stresses the erratic, irresponsible character of the notion or desire <he had been prone to strange vagaries>. crotchet implies an eccentric opinion or preference <a serious scientist equally known for his bizarre crotchets>.


Next Word in the Dictionary: capriciousPrevious Word in the Dictionary: capricciosoAll Words Near: caprice
March 30, 2015
amphibology Hear it
A phrase with more than one interpretation
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears